Dec 7, 2017, 7:24 PM ET

Arizona GOP Rep. Trent Franks announces resignation after discussing surrogacy with female staffers


Eight-term Republican Rep. Trent Franks of Arizona announced Thursday night he is resigning from the U.S. House of Representatives after the House Ethics Committee launched an investigation into his conduct over subordinates.

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"I have recently learned that the Ethics Committee is reviewing an inquiry regarding my discussion of surrogacy with two previous female subordinates, making each feel uncomfortable," Franks said in a statement. "I deeply regret that my discussion of this option and process in the workplace caused distress."

Franks said he will resign, effective January 31, 2018.

"I have absolutely never physically intimidated, coerced, or had, or attempted to have, any sexual contact with any member of my congressional staff," Franks explained. "However, I do want to take full and personal responsibility for the ways I have broached a topic that, unbeknownst to me until very recently, made certain individuals uncomfortable."

PHOTO: Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., center, speaks during a news conference on the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, May 13, 2015. AP Photo/Susan Walsh
Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., center, speaks during a news conference on the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, May 13, 2015.

House Speaker Paul Ryan first demanded Franks resign last Thursday, on Nov. 30, after one of his aides was contacted with information about "troubling behavior" Franks directed at a former staffer.

After the speaker’s general counsel interviewed the former staffer, and validated misconduct against a second aide, Ryan was briefed and soon presented the claims to Franks. The speaker then filed a complaint with the Ethics Committee on Friday, according to his office.

PHOTO: President Donald Trump shakes hands with Arizona Representative Trent Franks during a rally at the Phoenix Convention Center, Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2017, in Phoenix. AP Photo/Rick Scuteri
President Donald Trump shakes hands with Arizona Representative Trent Franks during a rally at the Phoenix Convention Center, Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2017, in Phoenix.

Franks is a conservative fire-brand, known on Capitol Hill as a prominent evangelical Christian member of Congress and high-profile anti-abortion advocate. He is a member of the Freedom Caucus and Republican Study Committee, and serves on the Judiciary and Armed Services committees.

Franks had recently announced plans to seek a ninth term in the House. He is the third U.S. congressman to step down this week, after Rep. John Conyers and Sen. Al Franken both resigned amid sexual misconduct ethics investigations.

News - Arizona GOP Rep. Trent Franks announces resignation after discussing surrogacy with female staffers

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  • tmkelley1

    Good riddance to this notorious Republican moral Nazi. Off with his head!!!!

  • colloguy

    I'm no prude, in fact far from it.
    But what I can't stomach are hypocrites.
    People who want to spout about how others should be, but then hate it when others discover or try to tell them how they should be.

    “For the powerful, crimes are those that others commit.”
    ― Noam Chomsky

  • Erwin Schrodinger

    Trump was sure as heck not stepping down and Moore is clearly not going to pull out either. GOP needed to show some action on this issue and Franks is the fall guy.

  • Truth-B-Me

    Good for Ryan now let's just hope if the child predator Moore gets elected Ryan will do the same thing!!

  • P bis

    typical GOP hypocrite. He was worthless to AZ but they kept electing him because there was no one else.

  • kaymichigan1

    In other news, Republican Governor Snyder of Michigan has announced that they won't hold an election to fill Democrat John Conyers' seat until next November, which means the Democrats will be short a vote for almost a year..


    Keep going..A whole lot more boys on that hill to go....That you can bank on.

  • carcar

    The weenie has sort of a backbone?

  • Sue Thomason

    I can deal with this. Take turns weeding out the bad players from either side.

  • George Rowe

    What happened to PROOF? Allegations galore but proof?
    Once upon a time there was a naive idea of innocent until proven guilty.
    I have witnessed and experienced sexual harassment by women
    but I guess that is OK.
    Still looking for a definition of sexual harassment.
    As one wag said - I can't define porn but I know it when I see it.
    A lot of what I see in public might be considered porn and sexual harassment.


    Conservatives still won't have credibility on this issue until they force Trump out and refuse to seat Moore.

  • Independent

    Since Frank is so against abortion, why didn't he consider adoption? Does he think his seed needs to replenish the earth?

  • Independent

    I was told by the white house I cannot question a General's integrity so I guess I cannot question a claimed man of God. heh heh heh

  • katerant

    Maybe his wife did not know he was shopping around for a 'surrogate.' When she found out, she had to be hospitalized.

    'The former staffer told The Associated Press that Franks asked her four times to act as a surrogate.

    Politico also reported Friday that Franks made unwanted advances toward female aides related to surrogacy. He reportedly approached two female staffers about becoming surrogates. The two women said it was not clear whether he was inquiring about impregnating them via sexual intercourse or in vitro fertilization.

    One former staffer reportedly accused Franks of revoking her access to the congressman after she denied his advances, according to Politico.

    Franks abruptly resigned on Friday after originally announcing this week that he would resign at the end of January.'

    'The sources said Franks approached two female staffers about acting as a potential surrogate for him and his wife, who has struggled with fertility issues for years. But the aides were concerned that Franks was asking to have sexual relations with them. It was not clear to the women whether he was asking about impregnating the women through sexual intercourse or in vitro fertilization. Franks opposes abortion rights as well as procedures that discard embryos.'

    Another pig caught with his stiffy exposed.

  • George Rowe

    Trent, PLEASE reconsider. Do NOT resign and do run again for Congress.
    We desperately need people like you in government.
    I have many times had the pleasure to talk with Congressman Trent Franks.
    Phoenix, Az.

  • arriba65

    Schedule my meeting. Fetch my coffee. Bear my child. What?!?

  • Karolyn Lapka

    Ryan is gutless. He forces this guy out but he WON"T stand up to trump who faces 15 accusers and has confessed to inappropriate behavior on access hollywood!!!!! What a bunch of gutless wonders. Don't any of them have daughters?
    How can anyone respect our "Liar in Chief"?

  • Mark


  • tet1953

    Mere discussion of surrogacy doesn't seem that horrible. He must have suggested conception through the normal way or something.

  • drathvedar

    Since Franks and his wife have kids through surrogacy I'm pretty sure it was discussed with the surrogate mother at some point.

  • Redd Menace

    Stay safe at work. Simply just to not talk or even look in the general direction of women. It's no guarantee you won't be blamed for something, but there is apparently little alternative.

  • Karolyn Lapka

    NUTS!!! Come on-the SAME standard should be held to trump! He admitted it on video tape and EVERYONE is ignoring it! HYPOCRITES,. GOP is showing its true colors and prioirties by promoting Moore and hanging on to trump! This will bite them in the electoral ass. Women are furious and you know what is said about a woman scorned!!!!!!!!

  • SimpleTruthSeeker

    But let's hear a round of applause for Roy Moore!
    He's willing to take The Loyalty Pledge.

  • YellowParrott

    The "discussion of surrogacy" was a bit perverse in the workplace, but I'm sure Rep. Trent Franks was forecasting long-term, looking to take that "conversation" a little bit further, and a lot more deeper!

  • conservative banned again

    I just wonder who is dumber the congressmen or the American voters who keep electing the same people term after term. Glad to see this guy go after 8 terms. Hello John McCain time to join him and retire today.

  • Govskeptic

    More and more of this Politicians that have pointed their fingers at all kinds of folks in the past are not having fingers pointed back at them. Of course, that certainly won't stop the hypocrisy that has gone on for years in D.C.

  • Bree Zee

    Was he asking the women to be surrogates? Or just discussion their opinions on the matter? I don't know that this rises to the level of harassment without more information. And did the women say at the time...this makes me uncomfortable please stop. If he continued, then it's inappropriate. I want to believe it when women come forward. I don't want this spiraling into a witch hunt over everything inappropriate ever said between two people. I do agree that people of power should be very careful on what personal items they discuss with subordinates. Maybe we can all just start to work remotely so we don't have to interact with each other.

  • Nicholas Ingraham

    I don't believe that our founders intended that elected officials be removed from office via unproven allegations, but this is the current trend, cloaked in self righteousness of course. There are true allegations, definitely, but we also seem to be seeing: "Can't get them out with votes? Lie!", with finger pointers in the crowd conveniently looking the other way if said removal suits their goals.